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Texas News
Mesquite ISD announces Ángel Rivera as the lone finalist for superintendent
Rivera currently serves as deputy superintendent for the district.

Mesquite ISD’s board of trustees has picked Ángel Rivera as the lone finalist for superintendent after a unanimous vote during a Feb. 14 meeting.

Rivera serves as deputy superintendent for the district of 38,000 students.

“From the moment I arrived in Mesquite, I knew this is the place I wanted to stay,” Rivera said in a news release. “I am filled with gratitude for this opportunity.”

‘Visionary, collaborative and courageous’ — San Antonio ISD’s superintendent job post is now live
The ideal candidate will be a “visionary, collaborative and courageous leader committed to longevity in our district” and an “experienced educator with a proven track record leading academic success in a large, urban district with similar demographics to SAISD,” the posting states.

The San Antonio Independent School District put weeks of public feedback into a job description for its next superintendent, posting it on its website Friday along with the results of an online survey conducted by the search firm JG Consulting.

Waxahachie ISD students receive national Hispanic recognition awards
Uver Barrios, Amy Hernandez and Victoria Martinez were honored by the The College Board and recognized Monday by the WISD Board of Trustees.

The Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees recognized three Waxahachie Global High students who received national Hispanic recognition awards from The College Board.

Socorro ISD leads region with 15 TMEA all-state student musicians earning honor
Fifteen students from the Socorro ISD have won the prestigious recognition as 2022 Texas Music Educators Association All-State musicians.

The talented students in band, choir, mariachi, and orchestra were selected from over 70,000 individuals who competed in the TMEA auditions.

The 15 SISD student musicians will attended and performed in various ensembles at the 2022 TMEA state conference Feb. 9 to 12 in San Antonio.

I wrote ‘Out of Darkness’ for my high school students. Now high schools are removing it
The books my students in Houston wanted to read didn’t exist, so I wrote some.

I am a mom, a literature professor and a former Texas high school English teacher. I write novels because of the students I taught in Houston in the early 2000s. The books they wanted to read weren’t in our high school library because those books didn’t yet exist.

I wrote the award-winning 2015 novel Out of Darkness with those students in mind. For six years, it was not challenged once. Now it has become a target for book bans and removals in Texas school districts and across the country.

Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available:
Take a look at who’s hiring:
National News
‘This Was Allowed to Be Politicized’: Superintendent Pedro Martinez on Battling Texas’s Governor and Chicago’s Union on Vaccines, Masks and Keeping Schools Open
A lot of people changed jobs during the pandemic. Pedro Martinez was one of them, leaving his position as superintendent of the San Antonio Independent School District, which he held for five years, to lead the nation’s third largest school district in Chicago.

The political contexts could not have been more different for Martinez, who also chairs Chiefs for Change, a network of superintendents. He left a state led by a governor opposed to masks and hardline COVID protocols for a mayoral-controlled district with a powerful union determined to make sure schools were implementing all COVID mitigation measures. In February, he spoke with The 74 about standing up to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the impact of poverty on students during remote learning and hopeful signs that students are making up for lost learning.

Exits by Black and Hispanic Teachers Pose a Threat to Learning Recovery
Lynette Henley needed one more year to receive her full pension after 40 years as a teacher, but she couldn’t convince herself it was worth the risk.

So Henley, 65, who has diabetes and congestive heart failure, retired last June as a math and history teacher at Hogan Middle School, in Vallejo, California, which serves mostly Black and Hispanic children.

“You’re in a classroom with 16 to 20 kids and a lot of my students weren’t vaccinated,” said Henley. “I just didn’t feel safe. It wasn’t worth it to possibly die to teach.”

The struggle over defining, reporting restraint and seclusion in schools
Special education administrators are concerned some wording in proposed revised definitions will lead to misreporting and misunderstanding.

In an effort to get more accurate data on restraint and seclusion practices in schools, the U.S. Department of Education is proposing revised definitions for Civil Rights Data Collection reporting. 

The revisions come after education organizations, disability and civil rights advocacy groups, and the Government Accountability Office raised concerns about misreporting and problematic data in past CRDC collections, including some very large districts reporting very low rates of restraint and seclusion. 

These 10 actions now and in the future will reverse teacher shortages
COVID relief funds give K-12 leaders new opportunities to make education a more financially attractive profession.

The sudden challenges and pre-pandemic problems causing today’s teacher shortages will require immediate actions and long-term solutions from K-12 leaders.

The number of public school teachers declined by nearly 7% during the pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while further pressures have come from a shortage of substitutes, and battles over masks and critical race theory. And teachers are paid nearly 20% less than similar workers in other occupations, research by the Economic Policy Institute has found.

With NFL linebacker’s help, Latino start-up aims to be the Netflix of education
Two Latino entrepreneurs launched Emile Learning, an online educational platform offering “bingeable” accredited courses that students can access for free.

Michael Vilardo and Felix Ruano are living the American Dream. After attending the nation’s top universities, they created an online learning tool that they hope, according to Ruano, “help kids who look like the two of us.”

Ruano, the son of Mexican immigrants, grew up in Los Angeles, California and attended public schools before studying at Harvard University and eventually landing a job at McKinsey.

Las Tienditas
This Week’s Featured Sponsor
TALAS sponsors make this newsletter and other TALAS activities possible. Please support them. Click on the logo to learn more!
Newsela takes authentic, real-world content from trusted sources and makes it instruction ready for K-12 classrooms. Each text is published at five reading levels – with thousands of articles available in both English & Spanish to help Spanish-speaking English Language Learners with comprehension – so content is accessible to every learner. Today, over 2.5 million teachers and 37 million students have registered with Newsela for content that’s personalized to student interests, accessible to everyone, aligned to TEKS and other instructional standards, and attached to activities and reporting that hold teachers accountable for instruction and students accountable for their work. With over 10,000 texts in Newsela’s platform and 10 new texts published every day across 20+ genres, Newsela enables educators to go deep on any subject they choose.

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Contact District Partnership Directors Josh Cobb or Perla Sanchez for more information.